Chicagoans Slam City for Spending on Unlawful Migrants

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson | Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Chicago City Council on Friday approved spending an additional $70 million of taxpayer money on the city’s unlawful migrant crisis despite Chicago residents appearing at a city council meeting on Wednesday to voice their disapproval of the request.

The mayor’s request was greenlit in a 30-18 vote.

The city council’s budget committee had already approved the taxpayer spending, which would be used to provide food, shelter, and various other services to unlawful migrants who currently reside in the city, according to Chicago Local 12. However, the measure still required the approval of the city council.

Many residents who spoke at the council meeting on Wednesday argued that the money should be used to benefit their own neighborhoods and communities, while others threatened that the aldermen would lose votes if they approved the spending.

“Vote for the money for these immigrants today, and we are coming for those seats, you can believe that,” said one resident to the aldermen, per Fox News. 

“You better be worrying about your job, you better be worrying about your longevity, because we gonna vote and we gonna getcha out, ’cause you ain’t doing right by us, that’s what time it is,” the resident added.

Some residents threatened to have Mayor Brandon Johnson recalled over the issue.

The city council postponed the vote until Friday, when they met again and then approved the $70 million request after more than an hour of heated debate. The funds, which will be drawn from the city’s budget reserves, are in addition to the $300 million in taxpayer dollars the City of Chicago has already reportedly spent on housing, food, and healthcare for the unlawful immigrants.

The city council also unanimously approved $48 million in federal and state grant money to pay for staffing and shelter costs related to the migrant crisis.

The county stepped in to assist the city with funds to care for unlawful migrants. On Thursday, the Cook County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a measure giving the City of Chicago $70 million, which will be used for food for the unlawful migrants.

Some board members called for more oversight of how the money is spent.

“Once this $70 million is let, we have no oversight whatsoever,” Commissioner Sean Morrison during the meeting, per the Chicago Sun-Times.

“If it’s misspent or not allocated right or allocated with a special interest involved or whatever the case might be in the future, we’re the ones that made that occur,” Morrison added.

Tanya Anthony, the Cook County chief financial officer, told the board that the funds would be well managed and the county would require invoices before reimbursing the city for expenses.

“If the city does something with the funds we don’t like, we won’t reimburse them,” Anthony said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

More than 39,000 unlawful migrants have flooded into the city since August of 2022, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

This large amount of funding comes as the U.S. continues to deal with a crisis along the southern border due to the high number of migrants crossing unlawfully, prompting many states and cities to take action to account for the new arrivals.

The City of Denver recently announced that it is setting aside roughly $89.9 million to help manage the crisis within its city. As previously reported by The Dallas Express, multiple city agencies will have reduced budgets due to having to fund unlawful migrant programs.

The number of unlawful migrants crossing into the country from the Mexico-U.S. border is staggering, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection reporting more than 7.9 million encounters with unlawful migrants since President Joe Biden took office in 2021.

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